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Six Strategies for Answering NAVLE Questions

Posted by Cari Wise on Jan 26, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the length or format of NAVLE questions?  Is text anxiety keeping you from getting results that reflect your actual knowledge?  Not sure where to start?  We've put together six quick strategies that can really help when it matters most!   If you are a Vet Student, or thinking of becoming one,  and would like additional test prep information, be sure to download our free 15 Tips and Tricks for the NAVLE PDF.Let's get started:

1. Identify the real question!

NAVLE exam questions typically involve background information or pictures that may or may not be relevant to the ultimate question being asked. With practice you can become skilled at identifying pertinent information, and disregarding information that is irrelevant. Once you have identified what is actually being asked, you can focus on your veterinary knowledge and critical thinking skills to achieve the correct answer.

2. Don’t let the species discourage you!

We can’t all be experts on every species, but you can often find the right answer even when the species is something other than a feline or canine. Ignore the species, or plug in a different species, and read the question again. Does the answer change? This will help you to determine if the species is relevant.

3. Compare terminology!

When exploring possible answers, make sure the terminology in the answer makes sense with the terminology in the question. Some answers can be eliminated swiftly by simply identifying discrepancies in terminology.  

4. Calculations Trick!

Plug in the potential answers to work the problem backwards as a means of checking your work or confirming you chose the correct response

5. 50/50 Trick!

Stuck between two answers and out of ways to determine which is right? Don’t waste time agonizing… let your wristwatch help you make the decision so you can move on! Here's the trick...  look at the second hand on your watch...  if it is between 12 and 6 choose the higher answer on the list; if it is between 6 and 12 choose the lower answer.  Afterall, you've narrowed it to a 50/50 chance and you have spent enough time on this one question!

6. Crystal Ball Trick!

Does the question seem to be written in a foreign language including content that is completely unfamiliar and leaving you feeling clueless? Don’t sweat it! It is normal to encounter these questions as part of the exam. Chose “C” (statistically the most common answer) and move on. Remember, the NAVLE is a timed exam, so use your time wisely!

Let’s Try It 

An adult cockatiel presents for shifting leg lameness and an inability to bend the toes. An aspirate from a swollen toe shows spindle-shaped crystals. What is your diagnosis?

  1. Septic polyarthritis
  2. Visceral gout
  3. Synovial gout
  4. Immune mediated polyarthritis

You: “Oh No! I don’t remember anything about lameness in birds!”
Me: “RELAX… take a deep breath and work it through.”

  1. Identify the question: WHAT IS YOUR DIAGNOSIS
  2. Is the species relevant: MAYBE
  3. Compare terminology:
    1. Septic (presence of bacteria) polyarthritis (inflammation of many joints) No bacteria mentioned in aspirate findings, probably not this
    2. Visceral (pertaining to organs) gout (problem with uric acid metabolism) Gout has to do with uric acid, which crystallizes in some situations… but the question pertains to lameness and toes, not organs, so probably not this
    3. Synovial (pertaining to the joints) gout (problem with uric acid metabolism) Gout again, this time in reference to joints… BINGO!
    4. Immune mediated (resulting from immune system activity which is typically inflammatory in nature) polyarthritis (inflammation of many joints) Inflammatory cells not mentioned in aspirate findings, probably not this.

 Great Work! Now wasn’t that easy?!

Need an Edge Studying for the NAVLE?

NAVLE-StudyGuide-Mockup-500px-NewYou're of course going to need to study a ton to nail the test, but there are a lot of tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your study time and we've packaged those up in a free guide.

Some of the Top 15 Tips include:

  • Familiarize Yourself with the Test Format
  • Tackle the Weak Subjects Early
  • Start Sooner and Ease Into It
  • ...and 12 more!

Download Free NAVLE Study Guide  Awesome Tips and Tricks Plus Tailored Study Programs

Topics: NAVLE, VetPrep

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